“Half of a Yellow Sun”: Review

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie weaves an intricate tale, with well-developed characters and relationships, and just when the reader wonders where it is all headed, the unthinkable happens.

“Half of a Yellow Sun” is not a symbol I would have recognized before reading Adichie’s work.  Now I know that it is integral to the Biafran war, and the depth of atrocity that accompanied it.

Half of a Yellow Sun has rich storylines, and covers three different perspectives of the war:  Olanna, a woman raised by a man of power; Richard, an Englishman who struggles to find his place; and Ugwu, a man-servant.  Through these three voices, Adichie illustrates the complexities of a society struggling for identity amidst social and political turmoil.

Adichie understands the importance of story, and her work skillfully illustrates that even the most sensitive of issues have many sides.  I have only just finished listening to the audio version of Half of a Yellow Sun, narrated by Zainab Jah, and my mind is reeling with all the underlying implications.  This is definitely a novel I would like to share with a study group.

Adichie won many awards for this novel, first released by Knopf/Anchor is 2006:  Women’s Prize for Fiction, PEN/Open Book, and Anisfield-Wolf Book Award.


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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

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